Plandome Heights passes $474K budget

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Plandome Heights passes $474K budget
The Village of Plandome Heights Board of Trustees passed its new budget this week. (Photo by Teri West)

The Village of Plandome Heights adopted its budget Monday for the fiscal year that begins June 1, a budget that totals $474,300 and is within the village’s tax cap.

Property taxes in the village will increase 3.5 percent under the new budget, or approximately $37 per home. Overall, the budget is about $10,000 higher than last year’s.

“The Village is fortunate to have a terrific Board who care deeply about providing current services, planning for our future and serving resident concerns,” Mayor Kenneth Riscica said in a letter to residents. “We passed a budget that is responsive to our needs and addressed new laws that will benefit our residents.”

Expenses for home and community services such as tree pruning and pest control are budgeted to remain stable at $16,200. Transportation costs, including snow removal and street maintenance, are also stable at $24,000.

The village’s paid personnel include the clerks, justice, attorney and building inspector. The mayor and trustees are volunteers.

The village’s tax cap is 3.7 percent.

The budget was adopted after a public hearing. The Board of Trustees also held public hearings on three local laws, but did not vote on them because it heard public comment and plans to accept any extra comments.

One of the laws would update the village’s telecommunications policy so that it covers 5G wireless cellular technology. The intention, Riscica said last month, is to keep the village law up to date with technological developments and standards that are being applied to them. The village regulations would comply with Federal Communications Commission rules.

A second law would do away with a village policy that requires it to hire a contractor for a tree survey every five years and file a written report. Trustee Norman Taylor, who has professional experience in forestry, has been annually evaluating trees on village property, the mayor said, and such advice from village officials may be sufficient.

“The Board is concerned that the establishment in the Village Code of a mandated time for inspection could establish potential liability for the Village in the event of a failure to adhere to such a requirement, even though the Village Board has satisfied itself as to the health of Village trees in an adequate and cost effective manner,” the drafted legislation says.

Another law would expand on what type of construction residents can do without a building permit.

Work on exterior doors or windows, provided that it would not modify a weight-bearing part of the wall they are located in, would be exempt from needing building permits.

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